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Digital Europe Programme


The Digital Europe Program(DIGITAL) is part of the European Union's (EU) Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, alongside Horizon Europe and other EU sectoral programs. It aims to deploy digital technologies in a scalable and sustainable way, strengthening Europe's competitiveness and strategic autonomy and building the strategic digital capacities of EU Member States (as well as countries associated with the program).

Activities aimed at acquiring and upgrading digital infrastructures (e.g. high-performance computing infrastructures and artificial intelligence testing and experimentation centers), the use of digital technologies in public administration (e.g. electronic identification systems such as eIDs), cybersecurity resilience and training in advanced digital skills are supported.

The Digital Europe Program is not a research program, but it can support the more mature technological development phases (high TRLs) and the market adoption of products and services based on digital technologies that may have resulted from R&I projects funded by national or European programs (such as Horizon Europe).

From a strategic standpoint, the Programme is aligned with the Commission's vision for the Digital Decade and should therefore contribute to the achievement of the digital goals for 2030.

Structure and Specific Objectives

The Program conducts investments in six interrelated specific objectives (SOs), as provided for in the respective Regulation. To this end, it has an EU contribution of €7,588 million between 2021 and 2027, at current prices, distributed among the following objectives:

  • SO1 - High Performance Computing (HPC)
  • SO2 - Artificial Intelligence and data
  • SO3 - Cybersecurity and trust
  • SO4 - Advanced digital skills
  • SO5 - Deployment and better use of digital capabilities and interoperability
  • SO6 - Semiconductors

DIGITAL covers a wide range of digital technologies and infrastructures, promotes the modernization of public administrations and companies and the development of advanced digital skills. It has applications in different sectors of activity, namely: health, justice, energy and the environment, mobility and smart cities, construction, industrial production, culture and the media.


The various specific objectives of the Digital Europe Program are implemented in different ways, depending on the specificities of each area. Some of the implementation mechanisms are exemplified below:

  • "SO1 - High Performance Computing" is implemented mainly through the EuroHPC public-private partnership (with co-funding from the Digital Europe Program, Horizon Europe and the Connecting Europe Facility). More information can be found on the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking website. Portugal is a Participating State in EuroHPC and contributes to its European infrastructure, namely through "Deucalion", one of the supercomputers in the National Advanced Computing Network, and through "Mare Nostrum 5" (in collaboration with Spain and Turkey);
  • "SO2 - Artificial Intelligence", which also covers cloud and data, is implemented by the European Commission services through a diverse set of measures including, for example, AI Testing and Experimentation Facilities and data spaces dedicated to different sectors of activity;
  • "SO3 - Cybersecurity" will be implemented by the European Cybersecurity Competence Center (ECCC). Until the ECCC is fully established, its activities will be implemented by the services of the European Commission, in collaboration with the authorities of the respective Member States. In Portugal, the competent authority is the National Cybersecurity Coordination Center. It is a tripartite consortium made up of the National Cybersecurity Center (CNCS), which it leads, the National Innovation Agency (ANI) and the FCT, according to Order no. 11491/2022, of September 7;
  • "SO4 - Advanced Digital Skills" is implemented by the European Health and Digital Agency (HaDEA), with the support of the "Digital Skills and Jobs" platform;
  • In the context of "SO5 - better use of digital capacities", the European network of Digital Innovation Hub s (EDIHs) is supported. A number of national Hubs contribute to the EDIH network, some of which are part of the national network of Portuguese Digital Innovation Hubs;
  • "SO6 - Semiconductors" was introduced following the approval of theEuropean Chips Actregulation and will be implemented mainly by the Chips Joint Undertaking Partnership, namely with regard to the pilot lines, the chip design platform and the network of Competence Centers. The Chips Fund will also be financed under this OS, and its implementation will be entrusted to InvestEU.


The Digital Europe Programme funds the activities described in the Work Programmes through different mechanisms: procurement, grants (e.g. simple grants, SME support grants), coordination and support actions (CSA), among others.

In the case of grants, as a rule, EU co-funding is often limited to 50% of total eligible costs (with some exceptions, namely in the case of CSAs and SME support grants). Other costs should be supported through own funds (including in-kind contributions) and through synergies with national funds, structural funds or Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRF) funds, when dedicated co-financing mechanisms are in place.

At national level, national co-financing mechanisms were explicitly set up through the RRP for national participation in the European network of Digital Innovation Hubs and in sectoral AI Testing and Experimentation Facilities (AI TEFs). The latter resulted in national participation in the AI TEF in the health sector.


Depending on the specifics of a given Call or a given public procurement action, the beneficiaries of the Programme's projects can be practically any type of organization. These include: public administration entities, research centers, higher education institutions and industry (in some cases with additional incentives for SMEs).

Given the nature of the program and its political objectives, the participation of third countries (i.e. non-EU countries and countries not associated with the Program) may be significantly restricted in some actions, particularly those associated with cybersecurity and cloud and data infrastructures (according to articles 12.5, 12.6 and 18 of the respective Regulation).

Work Programs

The Digital Europe Program Work Programmes are, as a rule, biannual (i.e. they cover the periods 2021-22, 2023-24, etc.) and are subdivided into different components:

  • Work Program (Main): mainly covers activities in the area of artificial intelligence and data (SO2), digital skills (SO4) and the use of digital technologies (SO5). It also covers some activities in the areas of advanced computing/Digital Twins (SO1) and cybersecurity (SO3);
  • Cybersecurity Work Programme: covers activities in the area of cybersecurity, including the Security Operation Centres (SOCs), the development and deployment of key technologies, standardization activities and the network of National Cybersecurity Coordination Centres.
  • European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH) work program: dedicated to the implementation of the European network of Digital Innovation Hubs.

The EuroHPC JU and Chips JU Work Programs are defined and published within the framework of the respective Partnerships.

Updated versions of the various Work Programs are available on this page.

Calls for proposals and events

  • Calls of the DIGITAL Program: See information on the Calls currently open and scheduled on the "Funding & Tenders" application portal;
  • Information events: Find information on the information events organized by the European Commission and the HaDEA Agency in the DIGITAL Programme events calendar.